Efficient Tips to Store Your Holiday Decorations
I love the holidays. My mom loved the holidays. And so did her mom. And as such, when my Grandma passed away many years ago, all her decorations went to my mom. And when my mom passed away over a decade ago, both hers and grandma’s decorations came to me. And of course I have my own. So now, one entire section of my garage neatly houses half a dozen bins containing three generations of holiday decorations.
The only problem is that while I live in a lovely home, the amount of decorating space I have is about the size of a studio apartment. I would need about four living-rooms to have enough surface area to display all of the animated holiday characters, ceramic statues and figurines, along with the tree and all its special ornaments. Oh yes, and did I mention we have a train set?
Even with this challenge I still love Christmas and I insist on decorating as much as I can. This has forced me to get a little creative in how I store my holiday decorations, to make it as easy as possible to access everything each year. Or, a subset of decorations some years. It seems every year that the time to put away my holiday decorations comes as fast as it did to put them out. Since life is so busy and the calendar is always extra crowded between Halloween and New Year’s Eve, a few strategies to make storing holiday decorations easier, fun, and efficient, seems like (as Martha would say) a good thing. I think my process has gleaned a few tips and tricks for how everyone should consider storing their holiday decorations.
Suggestion 1: Only store your decorations in clear bins. Having the ability to see what is inside provides valuable flexibility when deciding what to haul into the house, and what to leave stored.
Suggestion 2: Store things by how they are displayed, not just by "like items". For example, the artificial wreath that I hang on our door every year, I store its wreath hook with it. Likewise, I use our Christmas stockings as protective wrapping for the stocking hangers I place inside.
Put like items together, preferably by room
Suggestion 3: For soft goods or odd shaped larger items, I use the extra large or jumbo sized zip-lock garbage bags. That way, you can still see what it inside, and it will be protected from dirt and dust without taking up as much space.
Suggestion 4: Prioritize your decorations. Take some time to think about what things you know for sure you are going to need and want to put out every year, and separate those things out for easy access. Having a few smaller, lighter, storage boxes for the must-have of your holiday faire will make the whole process of decorating so much easier.
Suggestion 5: Even though your storage bins are clear, be sure to label their contents on the outside facing where you can read it on the shelf. Having a more detailed itemization will help you to know year after year if you want or need that particular bin.
Bonus Suggestions: Be sure to remove batteries from mechanical decorations or cordless light strings. Once you have everything in storage boxes and bags, store everything so it is easy to get to. Don’t block everything behind other things. For easy clean up of a real tree, put a garbage bag underneath the tree skirt. Before hauling the tree out to the curb, pull up the bag to capture all the dry, loose needles.
During the holiday season stores like Target and Walmart sell specially designated holiday totes and storage options. The Container Store sells even more. Below are a few suggestions, and options for storing all of the Yule Tide decorations that remind us that there is no place like home for the holidays.
Here are more ideas for how to store your holiday must-haves:
Cord wrappers (or in expensive option, old wrapping paper tube)
Ornament boxes with dividers (cheap option, use dividers from liquor boxes)
Large Zip Lock bags
A five-gallon bucket holds a mini table-top tree
Box or bag for large artificial tree